How to Use a Floor Nailer: The 4 Super Easy Steps Explained

how to use a floor nailer

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Last Updated on March 2, 2021 by John Patterson

If you have thought about installing hardwood flooring in your house, then a decent floor nailer will be your perfect choice.

Let us know briefly about this tool. A flooring nailer is a hardware tool that makes your difficult job of nailing hardwood floors easier. It allows you to make this mundane work quicker.

This flooring nailer can insert the nails approximately at a 45-degree angle.

Some people can confuse a nailer with an automatic nail gun. It requires the strike of a mallet for setting the nails.

The steps for using the floor nailer are very easy, and soon you will get the hang of it.

How to Use a Floor Nailer: Step-by-step Guide

Before we start, let us quickly go through the tools that we need other than a floor nailer. All are the tools listed below are a must. Nobody wants their house to look bad now, do they?

Tools needed for hardwood flooring alongside a floor nailer:

  1. Nails
  2. Measuring Tape
  3. Rubber Mallet
  4. Air Compressor

Now that we are here follow every step very carefully to use a floor nailer properly. Let’s begin then.

Step-1: Select the correct size adapter plate:

Before you start, the first thing that you have to follow is to measure the thickness of your hardwood flooring. For that, you will need a tape measure.

Measuring hardwood flooring is very important. This is because the hardwood floorings are sold according to the square foot of your house. To install hardwood flooring, you will need to multiply your room’s length by its width.

The measurement of the flooring will also have a dramatic influence on the floor’s final look. That is why it is best that you measure the thickness of your flooring.

After you are done, use that same measurement for selecting the proper adapter and nails in the floor nailer. Then, attach the adapter plate to the nailer properly and load the nails of the appropriate size inside the nailer magazine.

Step-2: Connect the Flooring nailer to an air compressor

There are several types of air compressors to choose from in the market. All you will have to do is pick a compressor of the correct size. It should also produce adequate air volume and air pressure suitable for the floor nailer.

It will be better if you use a 1.5 to 2 horsepower electric compressor. Approximately a five-gallon tank, this compressor produces airs of 6 cubic feet per minute at 90 pounds per square inch. Moreover, it also weighs less than 70 pounds, and thus adequate for a fast operation tool like a floor nailer.

As you are using the air compressor for installing hardwood flooring, use the compression fittings on the air hose first. Then connect the floor nailer to the air compressor. Before you continue, make sure that the connection settings are tightly secured.

Step-3: Set air pressure on the compressor

Next, you will have to check the manual that is already given with the floor nailer. That will have the correct PSI (Pound per Square Inch) suitable to use with the air compressor. Then, adjust the pressure gauge on the compressor to the proper PSI setting.

Step-4: Using the floor nailer

You can use a hammer to insert the nails to the first strip of flooring before using the nailer.

Or, you can directly use a floor nailer. To do this, place the adapter plate along the tongue side of the flooring. Then strike the actuator of the nailer with a mallet. This will insert the nails in the flooring correctly at a 45-degree angle.

If you follow this correctly, then the flooring will not be damaged at all. Repeat the process for all the strips of the hardwood flooring.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question #1. Can I use a nail gun to install hardwood floors?

Answer: For installing hardwood floors, you have to ensure that all the nail cleats are inserted correctly. I would suggest a floor nailer. Still, you can go for a decent nail gun for this work. Its technique of automated nailing saves your time and is quick as well. Keep in mind that the nail guns vary to nail size and configuration. So, it may not be a suitable choice.

Question #2. What kind of nails to use for nail floors?

Answer: The installation of the hardwood floor is nothing simple. The type of nails that you choose is equally important. You can either use corrosion-resistant nails or stainless steel nails. Stainless steel nails will be the best choice as they will last longer.

Question #3. What side of hardwood do you nail?

Answer: It is best that you begin nailing from the left side of the room. Always do the nailing from left to right side across the floor.

Question #4. Can you install a hardwood floor with a finish nailer?

Answer: You use a floor nailer to install hardwood flooring. But still, you can use a top-quality finish nailer to install the flooring board at the correct angle.

Question #5. How much will it cost for installing 1000 square feet of hardwood floors?

Answer: The price of installing hardwood floors per square foot varies. Still, on average if you want to install a hardwood floor of 1000 square feet, it will cost around $6000- $8000.

Question #6. What underlayment to use for hardwood floors?

Answer: Though it depends on your choice, I will recommend using an underlayment of 15lb black felt papers rolled out over the flooring. This will make your room look classy and unique.

Question #7. Which way do you put hardwood floors?

Answer: The way you put hardwood floors should be parallel to the longest runs of the rooms. You can significantly lay it on the front door to the backside of your house. Your choice.

Question #8. Can hardwood flooring be installed parallel to floor joists?

Answer: It is possible. But the floors installed parallel to the joists will eventually distort between joists. Still, you can add a minimum of ½ inch of plywood if you want.

In Conclusion:

I hope the above information about how to use a floor nailer will help you set the architecture of your house beautifully. So enjoy setting up your home in your way.

About the author

John Patterson

Hi there! My name is John Patterson. I’m a meticulous guy who loves to deal with the perfect tools for various needs. No matter if it’s a woodworking tool or gardening tool or anything else, I don’t compromise the quality and usability. Since 2010 I’ve been testing different tools for different DIY and professional tasks. Later in 2015, I decided to share my knowledge with the world. I started by answering people in the forums and several Q/A sites like Quora. Then I founded this blog to aid others like you with my knowledge and experience.